Bed bug public art project: your participation requested!

by nobugsonme on March 9, 2008 · 7 comments

in bed bug art, bed bugs


An art student who has had bed bugs is doing a project related to her experience. And she would like you to participate!

Dannon writes:

I’m an undergraduate art student and former (I hope) bed bug victim living in Chicago. Dealing with the bugs in my apartment this fall was a fairly traumatic experience, as I’m sure you and your readers will agree. I’m currently working on a project that I’d like to share with the Bedbugger community. The bedbug infestation brought on feelings of shame for me–though I now realize many suffer in the same way, I avoided telling anyone outside my family for fear of judgment and ridicule. I’m really fascinating by the community that has developed on your blog. Though you operate anonymously, there’s a feeling of camaraderie, which must help many get through the hard times.

I’m interested in recreating, or at least echoing, those emotions in the real world. Inspired in part by old hobo symbols, I’ve screen-printed an image of a bed bug on adhesive labels that I’ve used to tag the exterior wall of my building in the pattern of my first cluster of bed bug bites. I hope this will act as both a warning and a sign of solidarity for others who recognize the bug. Ideally, I’d like to send out stickers to fellow Bedbuggers who would then tag their buildings as well, even for just a few days, and document the process. As bedbugs get more press, I hope recognition of the problem will remove some of the shame, and I hope my project helps in some small, anonymous way. A side note: the stickers are standard mailing labels, so they will not be permanent or cause damage to the building.

Some more specifics on documentation: I’d like any participants who are willing to document the process in photo or video. The most important part is a close-up of the arrangement of stickers on the wall, but images/footage of people putting them up would also be appreciated. You don’t need to show your face or any identifying characteristics of your building. I will be including the documentation with the final presentation of my project and hope to eventually create a web site. I’d like to identify any documentation I receive by city and Bedbugger username, but I can leave off the name if necessary.

Would you be interested in either posting my project on the blog or somewhere in the forum where it would get the attention of readers. is the best place I could think of to get the word out to to my fellow bedbug victims. My Bedbugger username is Dannon, if you need the information. I’m based in Chicago, but I’m willing to mail stickers anywhere in the continental U.S.

If any readers are interested in participating, please email me at d [dot] nafis [AT] gmail [DOT] com and include your Bedbugger username (optional), your city of residence (include neighborhood or borough if it applies), your address and how many sheets of stickers you would like (they come 6/sheet). I promise I won’t give away your address or use it for anything unsavory, but if you are really hesitant to give out your address, I can email you a pdf of my original model for you to print out yourself, though this won’t look quite the same as the stickers featured in my photos.

If you are curious about other projects created for this class, please check out our flickr site.

Thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.


The photos in this post show Dannon with her bed bug stickers.

Remember, to get involved or find out more, email Dannon at the provided email address.

But it would also be great to hear in the comments who’s planning to do this! If anyone wants to share photos with us too, they would be welcomed.

Dannon, thanks for inviting us to be involved.  Good luck, and we look forward to seeing the results of this intriguing project. It will no doubt raise awareness of the bed bug issue, and that is always good.



1 DanDaMan March 9, 2008 at 11:55 pm

you should trim the stickers to the shape of the bug and get a few different pictures with different sizes and different angles for it to be more realistic. A dark red colour instead of black would help but it might be more expensive.

2 hopelessnomo March 10, 2008 at 3:55 pm

They’re beautiful, Dannon. Thanks for doing this.

3 kurtck March 11, 2008 at 4:09 pm

I’ve thought about doing something like this to publicly shame the landlords who don’t address the problem.

4 Heidi March 18, 2008 at 1:50 am

Thanks for doing this potent project. Unfortunately I just threw out photos of the bedbug bites I recently received at a SF hotel. It showed some of the many hundreds of red blister lesions I had. It seems that some were bites and others were a severe allergic reaction to the bites. I can empathize with how dirty-feeling, isolating and haunting this problem is. helped me through the worst of it. What a great resource and community. The very, very best to you.

5 nobugsonme March 18, 2008 at 5:55 am

Thanks Heidi!

6 JP April 1, 2009 at 3:10 am

I think it’s totally a great idea to make bed bug art. I’m thinking of making prints and postering to raise awareness in my community.

7 nobugsonme April 1, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Hi JP,

I hope you’ll send us some photos. 🙂

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